Dive into the story of a man who’s grown to conquer summits and chase dreams, defying all odds.
Our beloved EDM community is an amazing one. Time and time again we’re proven just how warming and close together our space is, and how it spans far beyond the musical aspect only. From Eric Prydz naming a song in honour of passing fan James Lillo, to endless messages of support to Michael Bibi when he was diagnosed with cancer, there are countless examples of support and unity throughout the history of Electronic Dance Music.
One of the most powerful messages spoken all throughout our space is “everything is possible“. Artists whose lives have changed from one day to another, and those who have fought for years to achieve their own goals. Today, we bring you one of the finest examples of that race towards the summit: Belgian producer and DJ Anthony Reyers.
Reyers is one-half of the Uplifting Trance duo XiJaro & Pitch, together with Xander van Dommelen. Also, Reyers is blind. Anthony was born with Norrie disease. Norrie disease is a rare genetic condition, often evident from birth, and which causes blindness in almost all cases. It originates from changes in the Norrin gene, found on the X chromosome. This gene plays a role in the development of certain components of the eye, and therefore, individuals with the disease present faulty retinas.
Apart from the blindness, Anthony also suffers a slightly less common effect of this gene’s mutation: a progressive loss of hearing, which starts at around 18 years old, and worsens as time goes on, often presenting itself in the form of crises, in which he’ll hear close to nothing but a sustained pitch. It was at that age that he realised there was more to Norrie than just being blind.
“suddenly I had to face the fact that I would go and lose my hearing over time, and that at some point i would not hear anything anymore, and i would not be able to do my biggest passion: music.”-Anthony Reyers
Despite all the difficulties Norrie disease has caused him, it was always his biggest dream to become a DJ and a producer. Since he was nine, he fully committed to pursuing this goal. Years later, he can proudly say he’s made his dream come true. Having released tracks on prestigious labels such as A State Of Trance, Anjunabeats, and Black Hole Recordings, while also hosting a Twitch streaming show, appropriately named Chasing Dreams, the duo is in full bloom as of 2023 — and with no intentions of stopping.
His Own Mini-Series
Recently, Anthony partnered with nonprofit organisation Flight For Sight, an initiative which aims to support those with sight loss with a desire to explore the world, learn, and educate others about their condition. Their project comes in the form of a mini-series in which Anthony will show the world how his day-to-day is, how he goes around simple tasks, producing, travelling, and living the DJ life.
The first video, ‘A day in the life of Anthony Reyers – the story of a blind DJ & Producer‘, is already up on Flight For Sight’s YouTube Channel. The 30-minute documentary includes Anthony’s backstory, in his own words, and tells the tale of a man who got to fulfil his biggest dream ever. The video also takes us inside his home, to live a day in his shoes.
The episode shows the audience just how important Technology is to the visually impaired, relying heavily on auditive cues when, for example, navigating through their smartphones. It also features words from friends of Anthony, adding their own external point of view to the scene.
Having substantially grown their fanbase during the lockdown months, XiJaro & Pitch are living proof that the Electronic Dance Music community is, down to its core, a warm place. Once the lights have gone off, and the lasers, smoke, and fire are nowhere to be seen, once the club turns silent and you’ve stripped all of the superficial aspects off, the people that make up this place are the nicest, and will smile from ear to ear when they see someone achieving their dreams. Anthony often receives messages of love and support through the duo’s socials, and even though he can’t see them, he certainly feels the euphoric crowd at each of their shows.
“chasing dreams is something that i have as my main model of life.”-Anthony Reyers
We’ll be sure to stay up to date with Flight For Sight’s series, to learn more about one of the trailblazing acts of Trance as of today, and how they go on to create their magic from scratch. For now, though, enjoy the playlist below with all of XiJaro & Pitch’s releases.